Between 28 and 31 May 2015, canoeists met in Germany for the Canoe Slalom European Championships. During the competition the International Canoe Federation (ICF) supported the local organisers in implementing video judging systems, using a videoReferee system. At Canoe Park Markkleeberg (Saxony), slomo.tv’s videoReferee system was used as an additional tool for monitoring the gates.
The aim of Canoe Slalom is to complete a white water course in as short a time as possible, and to pass through gates downstream or upstream correctly. The gates should be passed completely without touching the rods. If this fails, the athlete will receive penalty seconds for touching the rods or missing the gate.
In order to assist the referees in questionable situations the ICF has implemented video judging systems in international competitions since 2007. However, the simultaneous view of several signals and perspectives was difficult to achieve and made fair decision-making more difficult.
During the Canoe Slalom European Championships in Markkleeberg, Germany, this year ICF supported the local host with the implementation of video judging systems using a videoReferee system. With videoReferee the referees had access to up to 11 camera signals in HD quality. In the competition, all signals could be viewed and marked simultaneously during continuous recording. videoReferee offered the organisers and referees unprecedented opportunities to clarify controversial scenes, thus ensuring more fairness during competition.
Jean Michel Prono, chairman Canoe Slalom, ICF, commented: “videoReferee answers our needs for a fast review of a situation while the race is still running. It really solves the problems we have with dubious situations.”
The marking of contentious scenes can be done automatically using algorithms or manually by the referee at the workstation. Using the controller, individual channels can be selected or special situations can be searched and marked – all in real time. The operator can flag selective scenes during live recording or by accessing previously recorded material. The users can choose between the simultaneous view of all channels, single view or zoom view. With videoReferee it is possible to export marked scenes to DVD or MP4 file for backup reasons as well as to record entire sport events.
The videoReferee system used during the Canoe Slalom European Championships was integrated into the existing infrastructure of the event and had access to two signal sources. The system used the signals of the cameras already on-site, as well as signals provided by the local host broadcaster.
The recording of all material with videoReferee was also useful for marketing purposes as well as sports organisations, and served as a test for the Canoe Slalom World Championships to be held in London in September 2015.